(Image/Digital Trends)

(Image/Digital Trends)

Oliver Schmidt, one of the highest-ranking Volkswagen officials implicated in Volkswagen’s emissions-cheating scandal, was sentenced to seven years in prison by a federal district court judge in Detroit this week.

Schmidt is the former general manager of VW’s U.S. Environment and Engineering Office. He was a key figure in the the company’s efforts to cheat on mandatory diesel-emissions testing—a system of deception that grew to a global scale—and has ultimately cost the German automaker more than $20 billion in fines and settlements.

The seven-year prison sentence, along with a $400,000 fine, was the maximum penalty allowed by law.

Schmidt plead guilty to two felony counts of conspiracy. A third charge of aiding and abetting wire fraud was included in the original two counts as part of a plea deal.

Schmidt is one of eight high-level Volkswagen employees to be charged in the diesel-emissions scandal, and the second to be sentenced.

You can read more about Schmidt’s sentencing in this story from Automotive News.

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